2009 Disney Moms Panel – Lights, Camera, Anxiety!

As a mom, you tend to go through life on one side of the camera.  It’s the side that allows you to capture all of the wonderful memories and glorious milestones for your family.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s the mom’s job to make sure that when she dies, and the family goes to put a photo collage together, they will look at each other and wonder where the hell you were most of their lives. 

So, is it any wonder that we are all fairly well terrified when the day comes and we have to go in front of the camera – both the still variety and the video variety.  I don’t know about the rest of the panel, but I’m a complete novice at this sort of thing, and coming off of my 4 hours of sleep night at Cinderella Castle, I’m afraid there is no amount of makeup that will keep me from looking like the Crypt Keeper, and no time left to study dramatic acting anywhere!

About that lack of sleep – my butt is DRAGGING!  I barely feel the cold air as I hop out of our car in my pajamas and head towards my room.  I am praying that the wish I made just before I went to sleep has come true, and between the drop off location and my room, they have opened up a Starbucks.  I am going to need lattes, fed intravenously, throughout the morning. 

I manage to make it to my room, resisting the temptation to do my best Robert DeNiro impersonation as people stare while I walk by in my flannel pajamas (Are you lookin’ at me?), and I fall into the shower.  Ahhhh!  The hot water feels so good, and when I realize this is just what I need before a nice nap, I turn up the cold water a little, hoping to get a bit more awake.

I took a banana from our fresh fruit basket at the Castle, so I have that for breakfast as I do my makeup.  There’s no way I am going to make it to the Pepper Market to eat something more substantial, but with the amount of food they’ve been feeding us, I don’t think I’ll starve!

I manage to show up, where I needed to be, on time.  We are going to have a brief introduction to Meg Crofton, the president of Walt Disney World resorts, and she is gracious enough to allow for a few photographs before we have to board the bus to EPCOT.  Nearly all of us are wearing the pink jackets that were in the GIFT BASKETS that were left for us last night!  They are completely spoiling us, and we will never be able to travel to WDW again without expecting private transportation and nightly goodies in our rooms.

We get to EPCOT, and how cool is this?  GARY is there!  Gary is our new best friend from dinner at DHS the other night – funny, exciting, and I feel like this may not be as tough as I thought it would be.  Gary will surely help keep us from totally cracking under the pressure.  And then they call me first.  What the hell?  I’m ANna, not AMber – I come second in the alphabetical scheme of things!  So much for feeling instantly at ease with Gary there.  That theory only held when I thought Amber was going first!  And where is my hair and makeup team???

Off I go, to certain doom, but I admit I got a little giddy feeling when I realized I was going to have my picture taken with the boss himself – no, not Doug!  It’s MICKEY MOUSE!!  You know the excited feeling you get when you know your kids are going to see Mickey and get their picture taken?  Well, now I realize the feeling is not because the KIDS are getting to meet the Mouse – it’s all about ME meeting Mickey!  I remember these same butterflies while waiting for Jim to pick me up for our first date (on Oct. 9, 1988 – we went to see Alien Nation with Mandy Patinkin at the Deptford AMC). 

Mickey puts one hand around my waist and grabs my right hand with his left hand, and we stand together for our photo.  Pain free!  I feel much better now that this part is done, but I do find the makeup lady before I have to do my video.  I am so stressed and so nervous, and of course the makeup woman doesn’t make me feel any better.  She takes one look at the makeup job I did myself – after only minutes of sleep all night and with a banana in my mouth – and all she can do is go “Tsk” before grabbing a large makeup brush and poking at me.  Then she grabs my hair, sprays some spray, crunches it a few times, and dismisses me. 

My interviewer is so hip and so chic looking, and I look like a total mom.  I regret changing out of my original outfit – the leather thigh high boots, the leather bustier, and the stockings – because sitting next to this woman, you might as well stamp SUBURBAN SOCCER MOM on my minivan riding behind. 

She immediately makes me feel comfortable, and even though I am going blind from the sun that is shining right into my eyes, I don’t think I squint too much.  I’m okay answering the questions, and I am so grateful that this is the format.  I much prefer this to having to speak off the cuff.  And then she drops the bomb – I am supposed to have a 1 minute bio prepared – and then I have to give my tip!  Wait, what?  No more questions?  Ask me if I’m married with children!  I can answer that question!  But when I have to just SAY it, I am married to my Carol Channing instead of my Prince Charming, and I am married fewer years than I truly am, and I think my 3 daughters become the 7 dwarves, and I don’t even think it’s politically correct to use the term dwarves anymore – where are the Roloffs when I need them???  I suddenly become a bundle of nerves! 

But it’s done, it’s over, and the 4 of us who were sent to the electric chairs – I mean directors’ chairs first are free to go and have fun!  So we do!  We head off to use our super deluxe, get you anywhere you wanna go fast pass thingy to ride Soarin’, and then the phone rings.  Not mine, because I don’t have my charger and my battery is dying.  Margaret’s cell phone rings.  I hear not good things like, “Hi, Laura!” and “Yes, we’re all together, yes, Anna too, and Diane, and Kay.”  And then I hear even worse things like, “Are you serious?  We have to do it again?”  I immediately demand she ask if Bri is standing next to her, but it doesn’t sound like she is.  We have to go back.  We have to do it all again. 

By the time we get back to where we have to be, I know I have a bit of a “glow”, so I track down the makeup Nazi for a quick touch up.  She pokes at me some more, and at this point, I just want to get it over with.  I answer this woman out of Vogue magazine’s questions, I remember how many children I have and how long I’ve been married, and I only stumble a little on the tip part of things.  I don’t really have an ending….

And you know what, I know this interviewer is just paid to blow sunshine up my butt so she can move on to bigger and better things, but I half believe her when she says I’ve done a great job! 

I don’t have too many photos from today – so I borrowed this one from the Orlando Sentinel…

3 Replies to “2009 Disney Moms Panel – Lights, Camera, Anxiety!”

  1. OK Anna…you’ve envoked my Moms Panel cough…I’m laughing and coughing so hard right now! Love your spin on things!

  2. Anna – so happy to have found your blog! Brilliant writing…you have me in stitches. Thanks for sharing – can’t wait for more!

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